Peel Forest to test searchers

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 22/03/2014

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More than 100 search-and-rescue volunteers will test their lifesaving skills at Peel Forest this weekend.

Senior Constable Brent Swanson, of Tekapo, said the volunteers would have to perform a variety of tasks over a 24-hour period.

"They will have to be fit, committed, outdoors-type people who are self-sufficient," he said.

"Everyone has to bring their own equipment, and their success over the weekend will assess whether they're still capable of being a search-and-rescue volunteer."

It was the first time in six years the exercise had been held in Peel Forest.

"We chose it for the variety of terrain, a lot of the activities will be in a bush environment. People will need good navigation skills," Mr Swanson said.

Starting about 11am today, the teams of four have 24 hours to locate 12 tasks set around Peel Forest.

Mr Swanson said the teams must stop for a minimum of four breaks during the exercise.

"Some teams could travel up to 40 kilometres during the challenge. It's going to be a long weekend, but it should be a good one," he said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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